Innovation Through Tradition: Asia Art Archive Annual Gala
CONNECTING FOR INDIA, a social impact initiative founded by SALONI, celebrated artistry and community with Asia Art Archive at their 21st annual gala dinner in Hong Kong. Asia Art Archive is an independent non-profit dedicated to enriching the understanding of the world through the collection and sharing of knowledge of recent art from Asia. CONNECTING FOR INDIA partnered with fourteen Ajrakh block print artisans and graduates of Somaiya Kala Vidya, a design school in Kutch, Gujarat, to create unique table scape designs that injected an undeniable atmosphere of dynamism and liveliness into the evening.
With support on creative direction by New York-based set designer, Julia Wagner, and Saloni Lodha, herself, each of the fifteen circular tables transmitted a highly unique charm and character through the colourful prints on bespoke pillows, napkins, table clothes and lamp shades. All of the custom-made decor was fashioned out of over 120 textile prints and amalgamated into a mélange of vibrant colours, motifs and symbols. Many of these textiles are considered master pieces by the artisans and take laborious time intensive hours of commitment and creative skill to execute and produce. Guests were invited to take their memories of the evening home in the form of the custom-printed cushions that was provided for on each and every seat.
The importance of “Innovation through Tradition”, the theme for the evening’s gala, is driving the re-evaluation of handmade textiles and their relationship to contemporary art practice. Not least, they are a beautiful expression of what was celebrated: the stories and friendships, collectives and communities that have formed and enriched the AAA over the years.